Physician Spotlight:
Drs. Aran Kadar and Stephanie Morris

Getting to know Aran Kadar, MD, MPH, Co-Director, Sleep Center.
Getting to know Stephanie Morris, MD, Associate Medical Director, Center for Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery.

Getting to know Aran Kadar, MD, MPH
Co-Director, Sleep Center

Aran Kadar's Physician Profile

Why did you decide to become a physician?

I can’t sing or dance. I was interested in fiction and biology from a young age, and particularly liked some of the writing authored by physicians. By the time I started college at Dartmouth, I had made up my mind to pursue pre-med requirements as well as a major in literature and creative writing. During medical school at Tulane and residency at Rush in Chicago, I felt particularly comfortable taking care of patients in the ICU setting, which set me down the path of pulmonary, sleep and critical care training.

How did you become interested in sleep?
During my pulmonary and critical care fellowship, I was seeing a lot of patients with sleep disordered breathing. Once you start asking about sleep problems, you uncover what seems like an underserved epidemic of disease. Rather than continue with attempts at research at the time, I opted to pursue further clinical training in sleep medicine before finishing my fellowship. In addition to satisfying an obvious demand among patients, sleep medicine provided me with the chance to work with a different, healthier group of patients from those I encounter in the Intensive Care Unit, which provides a nice balance.

Are you originally from the Boston area?
Yes. I was born in the old Boston Lying-In Hospital. I grew up in Maine and then we moved to Wayland just before high school. I’m asked this question often in reference to my name, which is a Hebrew name. My parents came to Boston from Israel for graduate school before I was born.

What types of conditions do you treat at the Sleep Center?
At the Sleep Center we treat the full spectrum of adult sleep disorders, which most commonly involves evaluation of sleepiness from obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia, but also includes restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy, circadian disorders that alter our “biological clock” and other less frequent sleep disturbances.

The best way to diagnose a sleep disorder is through an overnight sleep study. Our sleep specialists and sleep technicians will monitor a patient’s sleep patterns to determine the nature of his or her sleep disorder and recommend the most appropriate treatment options. Our sleep testing takes place at the Boston Marriott Newton and provides patients with a comfortable environment to evaluate their sleep conditions.

What treatment options are available to patients?
Our specialists use specific diagnostic procedures to determine the diagnosis and treatment of each patient. Once the tests are performed, the team reviews the results and creates a specialized treatment plan. The following technology may be used as part of the process: diagnostic sleep studies; lab work; MRI scan; and EKGs. 

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines are the most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. This treatment uses mild air pressure to keep the airways open. CPAP treatment involves a machine that has three main parts: a mask or other device that fits over your nose or your nose and mouth with straps to keep the mask in place while you're wearing it; a tube that connects the mask to the machine’s motor; and a motor that blows air into the tube.

Other treatment options include oral appliances, Provent nasal resistance valves, and for some patients, a surgical approach.

What are some of the latest advancements in diagnosing and treating sleep disorders?
CPAP machines continue to improve the ability to monitor response to treatment. For many patients, I can now wirelessly monitor their response to therapy and adjust their machine remotely. We are also using adaptive servo ventilators, which have the ability to adjust the amount of ventilatory support delivered minute by minute, to help patients with a mix of abnormal breathing during sleep, which results from both upper airway obstruction as well as abnormalities in the central nervous system’s control of breathing.

We’re also seeing new devices for the treatment of sleep apnea. Provent nasal resistance valves are one of the newer examples we’ve been using with patients who have trouble tolerating CPAP.

Why did you choose to practice at Newton-Wellesley Hospital?
I was looking for a clinical practice with an opportunity to be involved in teaching, so NWH was a natural choice. Most of my family is in the area, so the location was ideal. 

What are some of your hobbies or interests?
I’m an avid reader and also enjoy cooking. Our kids are old enough to ski now, and we all spent as much time on the slopes this winter as we could.

Getting to know Stephanie Morris, MD
Associate Medical Director, Center for Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

Stephanie Morris' Physician Profile

Are you originally from the Boston area?

I was born in New York, but grew up overseas in Africa and Asia (Nigeria, Indonesia, Israel, Pakistan, Egypt) from the age of four until I went to college. My father was a civil engineer and worked to help provide irrigation and clean water systems in the developing world. I came to the Boston area for college at MIT, then moved to New York City for medical school at Columbia University, and then came back to Boston for my OB/GYN residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital and my minimally invasive surgery fellowship at Newton-Wellesley, and have been here since. I live in Newton with my husband and two boys. So now the Boston area is home!

Why did you decide to become a physician?
I have always found science fascinating and developed an interest in women’s health through my experiences living overseas, where I was exposed to the many unique challenges women face in obtaining quality health care. Pursuing a career in obstetrics and gynecology was a natural choice for me. During OB/GYN residency, it was clear to me from the beginning that I loved surgery and using my hands. Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery provides the opportunity to take care of women through all stages of their life and perform a variety of procedures in the office and the operating room. Practicing medicine in a field that is constantly changing and advancing is an exiting and rewarding thing to do every day!

What types of conditions do you treat at the Center for Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery?
At the MIGS Center, we treat many benign (non-cancerous) gynecologic conditions with a focus on providing the most advanced, minimally invasive treatment options. Some common conditions we treat include abnormal uterine bleeding, fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis and conditions affecting the uterus that can cause infertility such as uterine anomalies, intra-uterine scar tissue, fibroids and polyps.

Abnormal uterine bleeding can occur throughout the reproductive years and into menopause and can be due to a variety of causes including fibroids, adenomyosis and hormones. The Center offersevaluation and management of bleeding after menopause as well. We provide ultrasound and hysteroscopy evaluation and treatment in the office, which can help determine the cause of bleeding. Many causes of bleeding can be treated without surgery, or with minimally invasive surgery – either in the office or in the operating room.

One of the most common conditions we treat is uterine fibroids. Fibroids can cause a wide range of symptoms, including abnormal uterine bleeding and pressure such as pelvic pressure, urinary frequency, rectal pressure and pelvic discomfort. Fibroids can be treated in surgical and non-surgical ways. We offer many alternatives to hysterectomy and a variety of treatment options that are tailored to each individual patient.

We also commonly see women with ovarian cysts, both in their reproductive years and in menopause. Some types of ovarian cysts can be monitored with ultrasound in the office. If surgical treatment is recommended, we offer a minimally invasive surgical approach with laparoscopy to treat the ovarian cyst. This can be done either with or without ovarian conservation (keeping the ovary in place), depending on the individual situation. We treat endometriosis and pelvic pain, both with medical treatments and surgical treatments. We work closely with the Pain Center to offer patients a variety of non-surgical treatment options. Our team also collaborates with UroGynecology to perform laparoscopic prolapse repair surgery.

What are some of the latest advancements in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery?
Most non-cancerous gynecologic conditions (and even some cancerous conditions) can now be treated without any surgery at all or with minimally invasive surgery. As the technology and instruments improve, we can do more procedures in the office, such as a wide range of hysterscopic procedures and endometrial ablation. The cameras and lens technology keep improving, so we can use smaller instruments to perform our hysteroscopy procedures.

Laparoscopic instruments and techniques are also improving, allowing for smaller incisions and faster recovery. Even very large ovarian cysts and large fibroids can be treated with minimally invasive surgery. There are fewer and fewer limitations to what we can perform with minimally invasive surgery.

What surgical options are available to aid in fertility?
There are many conditions that negatively affect fertility that can be treated surgically. We specialize in surgical techniques that help maximize the fertility outcomes. Many conditions that affect the uterine cavity (where a pregnancy implants and develops) can negatively impact fertility, such as uterine fibroids and endometrial polyps. Both can be removed through a hysteroscopy – an incisionless minimally invasive procedure that can be done either in the office or the operating room. Hysteroscopy can also be used to treat scar tissue in the uterus (Asherman’s syndrome) and uterine anomalies (a uterus that has an abnormal shape), which can both also negatively affect fertility. Other conditions, such a pelvic adhesions (scar tissue), blocked fallopian tubes, larger fibroids and ovarian cysts can be treated through laparoscopy, another minimally invasive surgery procedure.

When performing these procedures, we always keep in mind the patient’s goal of fertility, which often guides the specific techniques we use during surgery. For example, when removing ovarian cysts, we use surgical techniques and technology (lasers) that help preserve as much normal ovarian tissue and function as possible. We also perform laparoscopic tubal reanastomosis, which is a procedure to reverse a prior tubal ligation.

Why did you choose to practice at Newton-Wellesley Hospital?
Newton-Wellesley is a wonderful place to work for so many reasons. The quality of care that the providers and the Hospital deliver is excellent. My colleagues are smart, team players who are in the forefront of their fields and always keep the patient’s best interest as the number one priority. The Hospital is supportive of the clinicians and focuses on providing the safest, best patient experience. Newton-Wellesley is able to provide this outstanding care in a more personal, community hospital settings.

What are some of your hobbies or interests?
My husband and I have two young boys, ages 6 and 8. They keep me busy – the time I am not working, I spend with them! I love spending time outside. We enjoy camping, hiking, swimming and biking and, when it is colder out, skiing. What down time I can find for myself, which is not very much, I like yoga and reading.